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Sonya Wadsworth, 41, made Tyson sink teeth into Varun Ditta’s leg while saying ‘Haha you can’t do anything to me, p**i go home’

A woman used her dog as a “weapon” to maul an Asian shopkeeper in a racist incident after she was accused of shoplifting at his grocery store.

Sonya Wadsworth, 41, was convicted at Manchester Magistrates Court of racially aggravated common assault, racially aggravated harassment and having a dog dangerously out of control.

The court heard Wadsworth had deliberately let her Staffordshire Terrier off the lead and encouraged it to bite Varun ‘Jimmy’ Ditta when she was confronted for putting children’s sweets in her coat pocket.

The animal, named ‘Tyson’, sank its teeth into Mr Ditta’s thigh as Wadsworth laughed and said: “Haha you can’t do anything to me. My dog will bite you, p**i. Go home.”

She also called him a “p**i bastard,” manhandled Mr Diitta’s work colleague and said: “What are you doing here? Go back to your own country.”

Sonya Wadsworth was convicted of training her dog as a ‘weapon’ to maul an Asian shopkeeper (Image: Cavendish Press (Manchester) Ltd)

Mr Ditta was wearing thick jeans but suffered bite marks on his left leg as a result of the attack

Later when asked about the attack Wadsworth, from Wythenshawe , Manchester, claimed the animal was acting in “self defence” and added: “My dog was just scared at seeing his mummy assaulted.”

It is believed the dog has died since the attack which took place on the afternoon of August 28, 2018.

The 3pm incident occurred when Mr Ditta and his colleague Mansoor ‘Max’ Wahid who were working at the Around A Pound Plus store in Wythenshawe.

Mr Ditta told of overhearing Mr Wahid and Sonya arguing over the shoplifting accusation.

“When I heard this I came toward them and asked what happened but she was using abusive language to Max. She was saying “you are a p**i. What are you doing here? Go back to your own country,” Mr Ditta told the court.

He said Wadsworth took items out of her pocket and then threw some, including children’s sweets on the floor.

“She was being very aggressive and using abusive words and calling us ‘p**is’. Max kept saying ‘stop this Sonya. I don’t need a fight with you. Just go home now.’

Mr Ditta said she grabbed his colleague by his collar and began pushing him.

She then unleashed her dog from where he was tied to a pole outside the shop.

Mr Ditta said: “The dog was definitely trained and she was holding the lead of the dog and using it as a weapon.”

He described it as “aggressive,” telling the court how customers had previously complained about it.

“This was a dangerous dog and it was making me and Max feel that it was about to attack. Sonya was laughing and encouraging the dog to bite me.

Mr Ditta said she let the dog loose in the shop and it bit him on the thigh.

“I was wearing thick jeans and I still got a deep bite mark from it. I was outside the shop asking her to go home. She was drunk that day and I just wanted her to leave.

She was laughing “Haha, you can’t do anything to me my dog will bite you – p**i go home.’

“I was just thinking why is she doing this. It made me upset and fearful.”

Mr Wahid told the hearing she had begun shouting him after he accused her of shoplifting and said he would call the police.

“She began shouting ‘go back where you came from – where do you come from?’. She was being argumentative and kept saying: ‘You people’.”

Mr Wahid said he picked up a basket to defend himself when he saw her go to get the dog, describing Wadsworth as using the animal as a weapon.

“She set the dog on Jimmy and called him a ‘p**i b*****d’.”

Wadsworth denied wrongdoing.

She told the court: “I go every day to that shop and support my local businesses but the owner has never liked me.

“I’m always polite and courteous and I’ve never shoplifted a day in my life.

“On that day I go in and the shopkeeper says ‘I don’t like you. I don’t like your dog. I don’t serve you. I don’t like you at all’ and I said ‘well I don’t particularly like you either but you don’t need to like customers you just take their money.’

“I mean that’s not very good business acumen is it. I asked ‘what’s the problem, what have I done.’

“I’d already put the toffees in my pocket by that time and tried to hand them a tenner. I even said ‘okay look just take the tenner and I will come back to get change later’ but he just kept saying no.

“I was being diplomatic. I’ve been going there for two years. This was embarrassing for me as well and people were in the shop. I was very resentful at being treated like this and I picked up the toffees and threw them.”

She clamed Mr Wahid had grabbed and shoved her, then hit her with a mop handle.

She said she got her dog from outside because it was acting defensively, and claims the shopkeepers hit and booted the animal.

“I thought I pulled him back just in time but now I realise he must’ve bitten Jimmy. My dog was really scared and anxious though that’s how all dogs would react.

“I’m a responsible citizen. I’ve taught my dog right and I was actually proud of him that he initially tried to stop himself reacting. They’ve come towards him and he’s been defensive not aggressive.

“I didn’t use racist language at all. I never would and I did not tell my dog to attack on command. The dog was using self defence.

“I’m a diplomatic person. Very politically correct. Very polite. Very intelligent. They are all liars. I was forced into this situation. I did not use my dog as a weapon – my dog was just scared at seeing his mummy assaulted.”

Wadsworth will be sentenced later this month and was bailed pending the preparation of reports.

Daily Mirror

Goddard was spared jail by a judge but is banned from contacting the Remain supporting MP for the same amount of time

Self-styled ‘yellow vest’ James Goddard has avoided prison after being handed an eight week suspended sentence after calling Remain MP Anna Soubry a Nazi.

Goddard, 29, pleaded guilty to causing Ms Soubry harassment, alarm or distress during protests outside Parliament last Friday.

He also pleaded guilty to a racially aggravated public order offence against a police constable.

He initially denied the offences.

Goddard was sentenced to eight weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for a year, on Monday after pleading guilty to one charge using disorderly behaviour with intent to cause Ms Soubry harassment, alarm or distress.

He was also handed a five-year restraining order banning him from contacting Ms Soubry and told he cannot enter an area, including Parliament Square, College Green, the Palace of Westminster, Portcullis House and Downing Street, and told to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

He must also pay the MP £200 compensation.

Goddard, who was often seen on demonstrations with his supporters wearing a hi-vis vest, originally denied one count of harassment without violence outside the Houses of Parliament when Ms Soubry, then a Conservative MP, was called a “Nazi, traitor and scum”.

Last month, Goddard was fined £300 after being convicted of assaulting a photojournalist at a demo in Manchester.

Goddard, of Timperley in Altrincham, was thrown out of court during a previous case management hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court last month after interrupting the judge.

His trial hearing was delayed today after he mounted a bid to have district Emma Arbuthnot removed from his case.

Her husband, James, was a Tory MP for almost 30 years and is now a Tory life peer.

He will be sentenced on Monday.

In a statement following the case on Friday, Ms Soubry said: “I am pleased that both defendants have pleaded guilty to two public order offences and in relation to Goddard the additional offence of racially aggravated abuse of a police officer.

“They have admitted these crimes and accepted that their behaviour on two occasions outside Parliament was wrong and unjustified. Everyone is entitled to go about their lawful business.

“In a democracy, people have a right to peaceful lawful protest. No-one has the right to intimidate and abuse anyone. I am particularly pleased justice has been done in relation to the police officer.

“Racist abuse is deplorable and should never be tolerated.”

Daily Mirror

Susan Morgan-Bird, 35, racially abused Salma Gul and threatened to “kick her unborn baby out of her” at the superstore in Burnley, Lancashire

Morgan-Bird, 35, screamed “you fat black b***h” at Mrs Gul

A mum-of-two called a heavily pregnant shopper a “p***” immigrant” and threatened to kick her unborn child out of her at a Sainsbury’s checkout.

Susan Morgan-Bird, 35, also screamed “you fat black b***h” at Salma Gul as she emptied her basket onto the conveyor belt at the superstore in Burnley, Lancashire.

Morgan-Bird was stood behind the victim, who was 32 weeks pregnant, when she launched her vile racist tirade, adding: “I’m going to kick the baby out of you.”

Married mum-of-two Morgan-Bird, who is on benefits, then shouted: “You’re having that baby for the benefits” and “your husband is a drug dealer”.

Mrs Gul was left distraught, sobbing and afraid of going out after what she described as the “nasty” and “disgusting” outburst.

Ex-waitress Morgan-Bird, who has a conviction for battery from 2009, could have been facing up to two years in jail for the racist attack at 1pm on January 23, if she had been committed to the crown court for sentence, but escaped with a community order.

The court was told she has mental health problems and sometimes struggles to control her emotions, but “knew her issues didn’t excuse what she did”.

Philippa White, prosecuting, said Mrs Gul got the feeling that a woman, about six metres away, was staring at her as she emptied her basket.

She then heard some racial abuse, asked the woman what her problem was and she replied “You are.”

The victim said: “Lets sort it out,” and the defendant replied: “You come here then.”

Mrs Gul ignored her and began to be served at the till.

Mrs White said the next thing the victim knew Morgan-Bird was directly behind her with a member of staff and said: “I was going to bash her in, but she is stopping me,” referring to the assistant.

The staff member intervened and ushered the defendant away to another till.

Morgan-Bird began unloading her shopping onto the counter, saying: “I was going to sort her out, but she is stopping me,” again referring to the worker.

The prosecutor said when it was pointed out that Mrs Gul was pregnant, the defendant said :” Yeah, I know. I was going to punch the baby out of her.”

Mrs Gul asked: ‘You are going to what? “and Morgan-Bird shouted: “I’m going to kick the baby out of you.”

The victim continued to pay for her shopping and was escorted from the store by the staff member who had tried to stop the defendant’s behaviour.

Morgan-Bird told the victim: “You’re having that baby for the benefits. Your husband is a drug dealer. You immigrant. You p*** bitch”.

Mrs White said when the victim got home she told her sister what had happened and broke down in tears.

Mrs White told the court that in her impact statement, Mrs Gul said since the incident, she was more fearful about going out on her own.

The prosecutor said: “She is worried that something similar may happen again. She says she was made to feel incredibly vulnerable, especially as she was pregnant at the time. The incident has made her more wary and cautious when she was does go out and about.”

Cathryn Fell, defending Morgan-Bird, told the hearing what she said was “totally unacceptable.”

The solicitor said: “She wishes to apologise to the victim. There was no attempt at any physical violence. From her point of view, there was a bit of provocation. It’s not suggested the victim was staring at her, but that’s what she thought at the time.”

Morgan-Bird, of Hapton, near Burnley, admitted racially aggravated harassment.

She was given a 12-month community order, with a 10-day rehabilitation activity requirement and was ordered to pay the victim £50 compensation.

Morgan-Bird must also pay £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

Daily Mirror

Self-declared white supremacist Leslie Blaney told police ‘non-white English speaking people should leave England and have no part here’

A white supremacist who told a young mother wearing a headscarf to “get back to your own country where you belong” has been convicted of racially aggravated harassment.

Leslie Blaney, 65, “unleashed a torrent of racial abuse” at the victim as she walked in the street with her two young children in Workington, Cumbria.

He was arrested after two passers-by overheard him shouting “various racial insults” and flagged down a passing police van in Murray Road on 1 July, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

During a police interview, Blaney described himself as a white supremacist and said he believed all “non-white English speaking people should leave England and have no part here”.

Asked whether he thought his behaviour was acceptable, he answered: “To me it is.”

Blaney pleaded guilty to racially aggravated behaviour with intent to cause harassment, alarm and distress at Workington Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Pamela Fee, senior crown prosecutor for northwest England, said: “Leslie Blaney, a self-declared white supremacist, unleashed a torrent of racial abuse at a young mother as she walked down a busy street with her young children, simply because she was wearing a headscarf.

“Spouting such poisonous views in a public place is not acceptable in today’s society and we will continue to bring before the courts those who commit hate crime offences.”

She commended the passers-by who flagged down police, and who were also verbally abused by Blaney after challenging him over the abuse.

Ms Fee said: “Had it not been for their courage and support, the victim would have walked away and Blaney would never had been brought to justice for his deplorable actions.

“I would encourage anyone who hears racist abuse or sees a repeated pattern of racist behaviour to come forward to report it regardless of how minor an incident may initially appear.”

Blaney was sentenced to a 10-week community order with a curfew and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £90 victim surcharge.

His conviction comes after Donald Trump used similar language in a racist attack on four US congresswomen. The president told Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib to “go back” to the “totally broken and crime infested places from which they came”.

Authorities have since been urged to step up protections for Democrat representatives, all of whom are US citizens and three of whom were born in the country.

The Independent

UK “yellow vest” protester James Goddard has admitted harassing pro-Remain MP Anna Soubry after verbally abusing her outside parliament.

Goddard also pleaded guilty to the racially-aggravated harassment of a police officer during protests in London.

The 29-year-old admitted the offences at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Friday, following a series of hearings that were disrupted by his supporters.

It came after he was convicted of assaulting a news photographer in a separate incident in Manchester.

The independent

Laura Heywood begged magistrates not to send her to custody but they were appalled by her ‘horrendous’ record

A woman who hurled racist abuse at takeaway staff and a police officer has been jailed despite begging magistrates to give her another chance.

Laura Heywood blamed her “abusive and controlling” boyfriend for the heavy drug abuse which led to her offending.

Appearing live via a video link from HMP New Hall, the 24-year-old pleaded with Kirklees magistrates not to hand her a custodial sentence after pleading guilty to a string of charges.

She told them: “I’m begging you to take this risk on me – please don’t send me to prison.”

But magistrates were unmoved to grant her request after hearing details of offences including her vile abuse of two takeaway workers – one a teenage boy- where she threw cans of drink at them.

The incident at Dixxi Express in Batley happened on May 4 last year.

Drunk Heywood was at the nearby bus station with a friend and they walked into the St James Street takeaway.

Prosecutor Alex Bozman said: “They were racially abusive to two staff members, describing them as ‘P**i b******s’.

“Cans were then thrown at both gentlemen, hitting them and the contents spilling all over their clothing.

“One of the staff members was 16 and shocked to be assaulted at his place of work as he’d never experienced anything like that before.

“The other victim said that he was angry and that it was an unprovoked attack and there was no reason why they’d been targeted.”

Police were called and caught Heywood and her friend trying to board a bus. Heywood was described as aggressive and refusing to leave the vehicle.

When she was finally put into the police van she directed racist abuse to a female officer during the journey, calling her a ‘black b****d’ and’ n****r’ and telling her: “You’d be used as a footstool.”

Mr Bozman said: “The officer found her attitude and insults rather vile and stated that nobody has the right or authority to aim abuse at her.”

Magistrates were told about another incident at Laurel Drive in Birstall on June 3.

The victim had parked her Ford Fiesta there to visit a friend when Heywood came out into the street carrying a bottle of fizzy drink.

She shouted: “Whose is this car?” and she replied that it belonged to her. Heywood responded: “I don’t give a f**k anyway, I’m going to put it through.” She then threw the bottle at the vehicle, causing a dent.

Heywood went on to damage a police vehicle on November 6 when they were responding to reports of a domestic incident at an address in Common Road in Batley.

As her boyfriend was arrested from the property she picked up an item and threw it at a marked police car, causing a dent in the vehicle.

Then on December 30 Heywood was caught stealing a bottle of wine from the Hanging Heaton Food Store.

She pleaded guilty to two charges of racially-aggravated assault, racially-aggravated harassment, two counts of criminal damage, theft from a shop, being drunk and disorderly in public, three charges of failing to surrender to court and committing a further offence while subject to a conditional discharge.

Her solicitor Paul Blanchard described her as having a Jekyll and Hyde personality, adding that alcohol she consumed at the time of the offences would have clouded her judgement.

He explained: “The background to her most recent offending is combined with a relationship she has formed and during the relationship she has become involved in the consumption of Class A drugs.

“She’s made some ridiculously bad decisions and doesn’t deal with situations well.

“She hasn’t dealt with her child being adopted and resorted to the consumption of alcohol to block out the reality of situations.

“She’s a lovely, lovely person but has got her demons which unfortunately at times come to the top.

“Something has to change but the only person who can change is Laura Heywood.”

Heywood read a letter to the court in which she pleaded with magistrates not to jail her.

She said: “I know I need to grow up and sort my life out. I just need some support.

“I’ve now got out of my controlling and violent relationship and I’m begging you to take this risk on me.

“I know I’ve got a long, hard journey but I know I can do it. Please let me prove you wrong and make my family proud.”

But bench chairwoman Kathryn Beney slammed her ‘horrendous record’ and said she and her colleagues felt that custody was their only option.

They jailed Heywood, of Laurel Drive in Batley, for a total of 24 weeks.

Upon her release she will have to pay £100 to both of the takeaway employees she assaulted and abused.

Huddersfield Examiner

Glynn Fairclough was jailed for 12 weeks during a hearing held at Sheffield Magistrates' Court held today, after he admitted to racially aggravated harassment against his neighbour

Glynn Fairclough was jailed for 12 weeks during a hearing held at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court held today, after he admitted to racially aggravated harassment against his neighbour

A Sheffield man, who tormented his neighbour by making monkey noises and displaying racist signs and dolls, has been put behind bars.

During this period, Fairclough, of Retford Road, Handsworth displayed signs that used racist language and a golly doll in a landing window that faced her house.

“There was clear planning. The defendant actually went out and bought a golly doll and intentionally placed it in his window,” said Kate Reikstina, prosecuting.

Ms Reikstina described how Fairclough, 52, also made monkey noises at the woman and left onions and rotting shrimp strewn all over her property.

She said police warned Fairclough to stop, thereby informing him of the ‘distress’ being caused to his neighbour, but he persisted in his abusive behaviour.

He was finally arrested by South Yorkshire Police on August 26.

In a victim personal statement read out in court, the woman described how Fairclough’s behaviour had caused her a great deal of stress and anxiety.

“It makes me worried to leave the house and I don’t want to go into the garden. I’ve even considered moving,” said the woman.

The court heard how Fairclough was jailed in 2011 for the harassment of his ex-wife.

He pleaded guilty to a charge of racially aggravated harassment without violence at a hearing held last month.

Joanne Robinson, defending, said: “He was cooperative with the police…he accepted a very large degree of what happened.

“He accepts that the language he used was unacceptable.”

She added: “What he would say is that most of these incidents happened while he was under the influence of alcohol.”

Ms Robinson told the court that Fairclough was in the process of moving into his girlfriend’s home in Bramley, and would therefore soon be living a ‘sizeable’ distance away from the complainant.

District Judge Paul Heeley jailed Fairclough for 12 weeks during this morning’s hearing.

“Your behaviour was deeply shocking and distressing. It’s appalling conduct, in my view,” said Judge Heeley, adding: “Your neighbour has a right to be treated with respect in her own home and to live her life in peace.”

Judge Heeley also granted a restraining order, banning Fairclough from contacting the complainant.

He said: “I must make it abundantly clear: if you display any signs aimed at the defendant I will treat that as conduct which puts you in breach of the restraining order.”

Judge Heeley said he was minded to order Fairclough to pay his victim compensation, but Ms Riekstina said the woman had not put in a claim for it.

Yorkshire Post.

Nigel Hesmondhalgh

Nigel Hesmondhalgh

A NEIGHBOUR from hell who launched a four-year ‘race hate’ campaign against a family has now been jailed for possessing child porn.

Nigel Hesmondhalgh, 37, is beginning a nine-month sentence after a series of degrading photos and videos of children were found on his home computer.

Detectives have welcomed the punishment, imposed by Judge Simon Newell at Burnley Crown Court, on Hesmondhalgh, of Stanley Street, Accrington.

The judge also ordered him to sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

Hesmondhalgh was only released from a 30-week jail sentence in November when police swooped on his Hyndburn home.

His computer was seized within a fortnight and was found to contain no fewer than 29 indecent images of children, and 11 similar videos.

Four of the pictures, and three of the videos, were graded at level four, the second most serious category of child pornography.

After the case, Detective Inspector Claire Holbrook said: “I hope this case will serve as a warning to those who view such material that we will find them out, arrest them and do everything with- in our power to prosecute them.

“In downloading this material the viewers indirectly cause these horrific offences and images to continue to be produced.”

Hesmondhalgh was jailed at the Burnley court in March for an offence of racially-aggravated harassment.

Police obtained a two-year Anti-Social Behaviour Order against him, before his release, to prevent him from throwing dog dirt into his neighbours’ garden, or using racist language towards an Asian family.

Lancashire Telegraph

From 2011

A MAN who spray-painted swastikas around the city and set fire to buildings including a school and a church over the course of a month has pleaded guilty to all charges.

Austin Ross, 23, of Romney Close in Newport, pleaded guilty to 15 counts in total at a brief hearing in Cardiff Crown Court today.

The charges relate to a series of swastikas and racially aggravated graffiti and two arson attacks in Newport between May 2 and May 31 this year.

Two swastikas appeared on a wall and post at the University of South Wales building in Newport city centre during the late May bank holiday weekend.

Alongside one of the swastikas was a message apparently written in support of far right activist Tommy Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, who co-founded the English Defence League.

Today, Ross admitted nine counts of causing racially aggravated damage to property.

He owned up to damaging the windows of the Riverfront Theatre in the city centre on May 3, the front door of the Bethel Baptist Church in Bassaleg and a school sign belonging to Maindee Primary School on May 4, as well as a footbridge belonging to Newport City Council on May 5.

Ross also targeted Maindee Primary school a second time on May 28, the Gwent Probation Service building on Lower Dock Street between May 27 and May 31, the University of South Wales Newport campus and the walls of the Masonic Hall on May 28.

Four other counts of racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress were admitted by Ross between May 2 and May 5.

The charges read out in court noted his actions were based on the membership or perceived membership of a particular racial group.

He also admitted two counts of arson, setting fire to the front doors and hallway of the Masonic Hall in Lower Dock Street on May 28 and destroying a classroom at Bassaleg secondary school on May 29.

Judge Eleri Rees, addressing Ross’ legal representative Harry Baker, warned that the defendant was “not helping himself” by refusing to cooperate, and added she would order a psychiatric assessment before sentencing.

“A more sinister interpretation can be put on his behaviour because he has not explained his actions,” said Judge Rees.

“It does make it difficult for anybody to second guess that there might be a background that could help explain this.

“He doesn’t help himself in that way.

“I’m going to order a psychiatric assessment and we will set up a time table for sentencing.”

Addressing the defendant, Judge Rees added: “I would encourage you to try to cooperate and reflect upon what could be of assistance to you.”

Ross will now appear in court on August 21 for sentencing.

South Wales Argus.


A BRITISH National Party member has been jailed for five years for a string of racist attacks on Asian families in a year-long terror campaign.

Former Territorial Army soldier Terry Collins, 27, who was a sheet metal worker for Hotchkiss Ductwork, on Station Road Industrial Estate, Hailsham, hurled fireworks through letterboxes of his victims’ homes and smashed their windows with stones.

He also used a hammer to smash their car windows and a Stanley knife to slash their tyres, causing more than 4,000 worth of damage and forcing one family to flee their home.

Collins, who targeted Asian families living near him in Seaside, repeatedly sent take-always to his victims’ homes to ‘wind them up.’

Police launched an operation the size of a murder inquiry and made more than 600 house-to-house inquiries in a bid to catch him.

Officers who were lying in wait outside the Royal Parade home of one of Collins’ targets eventually caught him red-handed as he threw a lump of concrete through the window.

Following his arrest in possession of a lock-knife, officers found fireworks and paint in Collins flat identical to those used in the attacks.

They also found bullets which he stole from the army and a BNP magazine and three medium-sized pebbles in his car.

Lewes Crown Court heard how he had told a colleague: “Vote for BNP. Blair is too soft.’

Prosecutor Stephen Shay told the court, ‘Between September, 2003, and November, 2004, three ethnic minority families in Eastbourne were subjected to a series of racially-motivated crimes.

‘These crimes mainly but not always involved criminal damage. From the outset the motive for the offences was extreme right wing political views that he held.

‘In the most serious incident, shortly after midnight on March 27, 2004, Ali Rostam heard shattering glass downstairs at his home in Eshton Road where he lives with his three children. He was upstairs in bed.

‘When he went to inspect he could smell burning coming from the hallway and was aware of his house filling with smoke.

‘The porch carpet was burning and a large brick with a firework attached was on the floor alongside the shattered glass.

‘Mr Rostam was able to put the fire out by stamping on the carpet. His family were understandable deeply distressed by this incident.

‘Afterwards they were re-housed and there were no further attacks on the property.’

The court heard how he also also attacked the homes and cars of newsagent Praful Patel in Seaside and Ajmul Owasil in Royal Parade.

Sheet metal worker Collins, of Eshton Road, pleaded guilty to arson and racially-aggravated harassment and criminal damage.

He also admitted possession of ammunition and a bladed article and asked for 11 further offences or racially-aggravated criminal damage to be taken into account.

He was questioned for five days and told police in interview he never intended to hurt anyone and only wanted to intimidate his victims.

He said he was driven to his victims’ homes by an accomplice he refused to name and was drunk when he committed the offences.

He said he attacked his victims’ property because he thought they were asylum seekers and immigrants.

The court heard he has a previous conviction for a drunken assault on one of his victims, Mr Patel.

Julian Dale, defending, told the court Collins joined the BNP two years ago after he and a friend were attacked by an gang of youths from an ethnic minority in Manchester.

He said, ‘That appears to have been the spur which put him in the sphere of the BNP. He was specifically targeted by one or two very forceful and extreme individuals.

‘He was subjected to a brain-washing process and was exposed to extreme far right propaganda and extremely far right documentaries.

‘Pressure was put on him to participate in these offences and even more extreme offences but he did not do so.

‘It was only once he was arrested that he had a chance to reflect and realise just how far he had slipped under the influence of certain individuals and how disgraceful he had behaved.

‘He has shown considerable remorse and has sought to make apologies through the officers in the case to the families he has distressed so much.

‘He has completely turned his back on both individuals and the organisations that led him to commit these crimes. He does not pose a continuing risk.”

Afterwards, Farida Owasil, 33, told how she came under attack at the home she shares with husband Ajmul, 43, daughter Salwa, aged six and son Ashraf, aged two.

The first attack came when a rock came through their living room window and they went outside the house to find their car had been vandalised.

After the first incident the couple’s home was targeted by Collins for repeated attacks.

Farida said, ‘We have no idea why he has picked us. We do not know him and can only presume that he saw us go in and out of our house.

‘We were just watching television when we heard the whole of the window pane smash. Our car was also attacked. Two tyres were slashed, the side mirror was broken and it was spray painted.

‘We were attacked about another six or seven times. He would always strike at around midnight.’

Farida shares the home with her brother-in-law Ahmed, 48, his wife Dawn, 44, and the couple’s two children. The four adults in the house run a nearby nursing home.

She said, ‘By the end of this we were not comfortable living in the house. It really put us in fear not knowing what was going to happen next.

‘The attacks were getting worse and worse. He is a dangerous man.

‘You feel you are being targeted because of the colour of your skin. We have lived in Eastbourne for 15 years and never had a problem with racism before.’

Mr Patel, 55, and wife Minaxi, 50, also came under attack at their shop and four-bedroom home.

Fireworks were hurled through the home they share with son Bhavik, 9, and daughters Bhumika, 24, Hena, 22, and Herkia, 20.

Their car and house windows were also smashed and tyres.

Mrs Patel said, ‘He made my family’s lives hell. Every night my son wakes up and comes into my room because he fears this man is going to kill us.

‘I fear it as well because the police told us he had live ammunition. I think his intention was to kill us. He could have blown us up.

‘If he comes out is he going to do the same? He is a danger to the public. I still have nightmares because I hear a noise and I think he is back again. It gave us peace of mind when he was arrested. My neighbours didn’t like what was happening. They were really annoyed because we are nice people.’

Bhavik said, ‘It upset me because all my stuff is by the window and I was cold with the window broken. Nobody else is going to bang the window now. Sometimes I can’t sleep at night because of the noise. I often sleep downstairs.’

Eastbourne Herald

From 2005.